What you need to know today in Alberta:
The majority of Alberta’s recorded deaths from COVID-19 are in continuing care homes and there are now outbreaks in nine facilities, with 93 cases. Alberta’s chief medical officer of health, Dr. Deena Hinshaw, said it’s a worrisome trend and that part of the problem is staff can work at more than one facility.
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On the economic front, ATB’s chief economist warned of the worst contraction in the province’s history and that it will permanently change Alberta’s economy.
Below is a breakdown of cases and deaths by region in Alberta, but you can also read a more detailed breakdown of the statistics and what they mean.
- Calgary zone: 734 cases, 13 deaths.
- Edmonton zone: 290 cases, 4 deaths.
- Central zone: 66 cases.
- North zone: 68 cases, 3 deaths.
- South zone: 18.
- Unknown: 5.
What you need to know today in Canada:
Some are calling for more information on what’s driving government decisions as businesses are locked down and people are shut in. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said that information, on a national level, will be coming, but Ottawa requires more data from provinces and territories.
On Friday, however, Canada got a glimpse at of some of that data as Ontario Premier Doug Ford released provincial projections and modelling, which said the virus could kill between 3,000 and 15,000 and could be dealing with its effect for as long as two years.
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As of Sunday morning, Canada has more than 14,000 cases confirmed and presumptive cases, with 274 deaths. The provinces and territories that list information about recovered cases have reported 2,785 cases as resolved or recovered.
There have also been two reported COVID-19-related deaths of Canadians abroad — one in Japan and one in Brazil.
Public health officials caution that reported case numbers don’t provide a complete picture of the scale of the outbreak as that data doesn’t capture people who haven’t been tested and cases that are still under investigation.
Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada’s chief public health officer, has urged people nationwide to practise physical distancing and behave as though there is COVID-19 in their community, even if there is no known case.
There is also evidence that asymptomatic carriers of COVID-19 are helping to drive the spread of the virus.
Alberta Health Services has an online self-assessment tool that you can use to determine if you have symptoms of COVID-19.
Testing is focused on individuals who are most at risk from the virus, or those most at risk of passing it on to others.
On Saturday, AHS announced it is expanding its testing criteria to include symptomatic people in these roles:
- Group home and shelter workers.
- First responders, including firefighters.
- Those involved in COVID-19 enforcement, including police, peace officers, bylaw officers, environmental health officers and Fish and Wildlife officers.
- Correctional facility staff in provincial and federal facilities.
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The province says Albertans who have returned to Canada after March 12 must self-isolate for 14 days. Unless your situation is critical and requires a call to 911, Albertans are advised to call Health Link at 811 before visiting a physician, hospital or other health-care facility.
If you have symptoms, even mild, you are to self-isolate for 10 days from the onset of symptoms.